Tags: blogger conference, Cybermummy, mummy blogger
If you’re looking for a sponsor the best person to speak to is the lady who can and organiser Sian at Mummy Tips.
I can’t wait. Small note to self; be less overwhelmed and jittery and try talking to people and remembering their names. I finally met the gorgeous Susan K Mann in person this year, which made my day.
If you didn’t come this time expect blogger education sessions, freebies galore, a nice buffet lunch, and most importantly the chance to meet all those people you know and love – but have never actually squealed at and hugged in person.
Tags: blogging event, Cybermummy, mummy blogger
And a big thank you to the woman who told me that the Kiddicare bag I was hauling behind me at the train station, ankles giving way, sweat dripping, but still smiling, had given up and my Vodafone frisbee had burnt a hole in the bottom from it’s miles of contact with the pavement.
As someone (I forget who, the day was a little bit of a whirlwind), but someone in one of the content sessions said, you’ll lose a reader if your headline and first paragraph don’t capture them immediately. And they’ll never come back.
If you’re still here, yey! And please come back. If you’re not then I have found another clever way of delivering this to you mwah ha ha!
The night before Cyerbmummy was like the night before your first day at big school. I packed my bag – tickets, train booking, notepad, pen, lipsalve, comfy shoes, camera, cards, laptop, gifts for Huggies ladies (my kind sponsor). It was going to be weighing me down but who cared. I laid out my outfit, set my alarm, and went to bed. Late.
I lay awake. Butterflies tearing around my belly.
I woke up at 5am with a sharp intake of breath. I hadn’t overslept. Phew.
The train and tube journey was easy and I tweeted with excitable others on the journey.
I arrived on time for the Huggies breakfast (after missing the last Huggies lunch I felt triumphant). We ate, chatted and played guess the baby from the pictures we’d all sent in. I tried to make a good impression but felt nervous and waffled. Some I went back to my peach and pineapple, and cup of tea.
After my first little faux pas in the ladies loos when I mistook a plastic coffee cup lid on the floor for a super cool stand-on toilet flusher, I regain my composure and the day began.
When we went down to the lobby the first person to zoom over was Susan Mann. I felt really emotional as she’s become a close friend, a real rock, and she was actually a real life person now. I felt completely overwhelmed as we had a big hug and I repeatedly said this is so odd, this is really strange. I was watching myself from above cringing that I sounded like a dappy contestant entering the Big Brother house.
Now, when you put a large number of women in a hotel lobby together for the first time, having only had a virtual relationship before, sometimes for a year or more, there is gonna be some noise. Queue being moved along by the hotel staff for being noisy and threatening to wake still sleeping guests. You poor sods you, staying in an Ibis full of shrieking, hormonal, overly excited for a day all about them, women.
I stuck with Susan like a little lost puppy, and rudely gave the lovely Emma from Mellow Mummy a brief hello in the chaos of it all. Luckily I got more time later to chat and talk with her, and she’s so, so nice.
We got in line to register and collect our goodie bags, and at the same time I had a long chat with Annabel Karmel who we’d met at Haven. I dared ask if her doggies had been found after they were dog-napped, and luckily they had been, relief. That would have been a conversation killer. She’s really, really nice. A very busy lady, but with plenty of time to chat.
An hour later and three cups of full caffeine tea (usually a decaf girl), things became more fuzzy, faster and slightly jittery. I definitely agree with whoever said next year we need t-shirts with our names printed really big. I had this constant fear of introducing myself to someone I ‘knew’ really well.
Another thing noted in one of the sessions was to avoid posts being too long. I think I’ve failed on that one here. So I’ll move swiftly on to the highlights.
- Winning a Kodak PlaySport video camera. And a further apology to That Kat for squishing a cupcake into her face in order for us both to win. I did quite grasp the challenge Kodak had tweeted, and after launching myself at the stand shouting ‘cupcake cupcake’ was told that I had to share a cupcake with someone to win. I was further corrected when I grabbed a Leapfrog cupcake from the neighbouring stand and directed to their own cupcakes labelled brightly ‘share’. Duh. Anyway, we won, we won! Pictures here and here!
- Spending time with people I’ve come to admire, respect and sometimes rely on.
- See all the hard work put in by so many people to bring this event together, especially Sian of Mummy Tips.
- It seemed my luck was in, and I won a copy of The Virtual Assistant Handbook when I sat at the lovely Nadine’s lunch table (businessmum). I was lured in by the whooping and cheering, wondering if they had win under the table. If I’ve ever met an infectiously funny and entertaining, as well smart and gorgeous person, then this was her.
- The crowd sourced keynote speakers were just unbelievable. I can’t put it into words, but I was sure glad of the napkins strewn around our table. And I was right to wear waterproof mascara.
- My luck was in AGAIN, and I won a copy of Tanya Ramsays cook book. Brucey. I know, too much luck can make a girl spoilt. So, I’ve divvied up my swag bag to give away loads to friends. Does that make it ok?!
- The chance afterwards to mingle and meet even more of the people who’s blogs I couldn’t live without.
- And of course, so importantly, Huggies for sponsoring me and making it possible to go – like someone else said, you beamed from 8.30pm to 7pm when I finally hit the road, you did a brilliant job and we are all so grateful! Can’t wait to see the pictures.
Just noticed the time, have been writing this for far too long – to see the incredible day in pictures visit the Cybermummy Flickr roundup.
Thanks again, and a huge hug to all of the other bloggers who made it such an important day at Cybermummy 2010!
p.s. Sorry for the stupid, trivial, ridiculous or abstract things I made have said to you at the start of the day, I was a little nervous and definitely don’t function normally on caffeine.
p.p.s Who else missed their children ridiculously that day?
Tags: about me, Cybermummy, mummy blogger
Carly over at Mummy’s Shoes has a little CyberMummy meet and greet party going on – so here’s me….
Name : Catherine
Twitter : @baby_genie
Height : 5′ 1″ 1/2 (sometimes I say 5ft 2″ sometimes 5ft 3″)
Hair : Blonde/fair/trying to go a little redder and closer to my roots
Eyes : Brown
Likes : Cooking, writing, trying to grow vegetables, clothes shopping, lists, Mr Big (to be with you) and CSI
Tags: Filofax, handbag contents, Marks & Spencer, meme, Moo cards, mummy blogger, Per Una, Vaseline
One of my favourite mummy blogger friends Emma (JumblyMummy) at Mellow Mummy has tagged me on this brilliant meme – what’s in my handbag! I had this strange wave of over-excitement about sharing the contents of my handbag, why is it that we’re fascinated with sharing the details of our personal possessions?! I guess our handbag contents are a snap shot of our daily lives.
So, here we go, this is fun!
I take a note pad everywhere! Baby brains are still in full force 19 months on and if I don’t write something down straight away it’s gone forever! We also have a list of the home improvements we want to do this year – kitchen is on the list for March and it’s being fitting on 15th, can’t wait! October has one entry – a baby – so I think we’ll have to move that into 2011 considering it is now February!
I love these, my reusable shopping bags from http://www.zpm.com, they come everywhere with me. There are three bags (the bag in the picture opens out into one of them), and take great pride whipping them out in the supermarket!
Gloves. These are the most rubbish gloves ever, ever, ever. They came with a black fingerless pair and cost £2 from Tesco. The price should have alerted me to the fact that they wouldn’t offer even a teeny bit of warmth.
Yey my new business cards from Moo! Just got 10 as a test to see what they are like and I love them so much I don’t want to give them to anyone! I saw a poster for a local theatre production in a shop which was stunning so I tracked down the illustrator and he designed the back of the cards for me.
So, that’s it the slightly longer than anticipated collection of my handbag contents!
Tags: Baby Genie, Memory Monday Meme, mummy blogger, Mysterious Cities of Gold, old children's tv programmes
I’ve been patiently waiting for Monday to roll around to post a Memory Monday Meme as inspired by Sian at MummyTips.
There’s one cartoon in particular that I remember from my childhood, not vividly, just one tiny clip from one episode (and I should add I’m not completely, 100% sure it’s from this cartoon, so feel free to correct me if you have any recollection of this!).
So, here it is ‘The Mysterious Cities of Gold’ and the best kids TV theme tune that there ever was. Like Sian said about her YouTube link, click here to view, you won’t be sorry – Mysterious Cities of Gold.
The clip I remember is of the little gang of adventurers, after being captured by the baddies, being forced to walk on an eternal conveyor belt. A lifetime of walking along a continuing track, with no end.
When I think of it, I think of the daily routine, up, dressed, breakfast, washing up, work, nursery run, dinner, washing up, chores, bed, up, dressed…..
It makes my life sound like that never ending conveyor belt! So, I am using it as a little reminder of how fast the days and weeks go, and that rather than saying let’s take the bear swimming this week, let’s just go and do it. Quality time can be difficult to find, so I pledge to grab it when ever I can to go on as many adventures as possible.
We may not find the other half to that elusive coin that they were always looking for, but we’ll find lots of other stuff – tractors, flowers and cars if the bear has anything to do with it.
Tags: Bicester, holiday romances, long distance relationships, mummy blogger, Oxford, Sleep is for the Weak, Stoke on Trent, writing workshops
This is my first writing workshop, thanks for the leads from Sleep is for the Weak, had a hard time choosing, but thanks to my parents have opted for ‘a time I have refused to compromise‘!
So, in 2003 in sunny Crete I met my now husband. A true holiday romance, and the person who turned out to be my Mr Right. We married in the summer of 2007, and the bear was born in August 2008.
The first few years of our relationship were pretty tough. For one reason. He lived in Stoke, and I lived in Oxford.
The M6 became my arch enemy. The 5.30am start reduced me to tears once every two weeks. At the time I was a smoker so I drove bleary eyed equipped with Marlboro Lights and Red Bull. My god looking back I must have felt (and looked) like crap!
I’m not the patient, go with the flow type. Once I knew he was the one (after 20 days when I asked him in a bar after a few vodkas if he loved me), then I wanted the engagement, wedding and family. I used to be, what you would call – high maintenance.
The biggest thing my parents credit my husband with is how he has mellowed me.
I can’t remember how long it was, but between 6-12 months after we got together, my husband decided to buy a house with his best friend and move another 30 or so miles up the M6. It was partly pride, partly concern about commitment, but this wasn’t the direction I was hoping for in our relationship. I didn’t hide my disappointment very well.
Like I said in my life plan, I had it all set out. And part of that plan was living in Oxford. Not Stoke. Now that sounds really, really selfish and although I was willing to discuss, this is home and I wanted to stay. Family, friends, at the time my job, my lovely flat were all here.
I wanted to be open to suggestion but I knew deep down I desperately wanted to be off the Bicester junction of the M40, not junction 15 of the M6.
In 2005 husband decided to transfer to the Oxford area. I was thrilled. It wasn’t an overnight decision and I went easy on my persuasion (kind of), again this sounds really selfish. Now, when we talk about those early years husband says he would always have been happy to move to Oxford, his family were used to him living away with his job, but because I was quite pushy, it made him adamant to do it on his terms, when he was ready.
Fairy nuff. I guess. I understand, so I learnt a lesson there.
We were dealt a blow when his profession put a recruitment freeze on. But it came as a blessing in disguise as he opted instead to apply for a London position and landed his dream role.
We haven’t looked back. Yes the commute can be tedious. Yes it means he sees a little less of the bear, but he’s totally in love with his job and is happier as a result.
My parents worship him (yes, you do!) and he seems to have made them into a right pair of softies with his warmth.
So, I didn’t compromise, my husband knew it was a sticking point for me, and he taught me some valuable lessons too – it’s ok to want what you want, but be willing to wait, and be supportive of the impact that will have on others.
Thanks again to Josie at Sleep is for the Weak for introducing me to writing workshops for mummy bloggers x
Tags: Childhood memories, mummy blogger, stay at home mum, working mum
This week as my lovely Twitter friends will know, both of our two cars died. Granted neither are luxury automobiles, and granted we never seem to find the time to lavish any routine maintenance on them, but still – after the nursery saga, a really busy working week and various other hiccups, we weren’t really expecting a puncture and an MOT to result in this level of chaos. I am trying to keep the frenzied ‘what will we do’ panic at a simmer rather than boil.
This isn’t a car rant, it more got me thinking (not sure why), about the bear’s childhood in general.
When we were little we had a Ford Escort, a red one. For some reason I loved that car. Then we had a black Montego, again I really liked that car. I don’t recall whether they were brand new, all singing all dancing, or just average family cars, but to me they were damn cool.
I can’t see our soon looking back at these two heaps of junk fondly, but it made me wonder whether it’s down to the imagination of the parents, not what you actually have, to create those special memories.
Maybe Dad told me that the Escort was a transformer in disguise, or that the montego used to belong to Rick Astley.
I’ve got really fond childhood memories – we were lucky that mum was of the stay at home variety – although she did a lot for the running of Dads business she was always there.
I started thinking after we became parents and husband talked about it, that it’s really important that your children have a really magical childhood, and that even though the bear is only 18 months old, we’d better make sure the magic starts happening pretty damn soon.
With plans to extend our family soonish, demanding jobs, a huge mortgage and a few debts, what if summer holidays go on hold for a year or two? What if we never end up with the big house in the delightful village?
What if our children look back on average memories of their childhood?
So I’ve made a little list of my favourite childhood memories and it’s taught me a lot – the best memories, that I’ll love forever, are absolutely free.
- Arty stuff with Dad – like chalk drawing on the patio.
- Tied to the tree – a garden game invented by my dad where one is tied to a long rope and has to stop the others from getting to the tree. A lot of fun, although the occasional winded stomach after forgetting one was tied to a long string and a tree.
- Table sailing – turning the table into a boat and spending hours sailing around the dining room.
- Home movies – mum and dad have just started editing the family movie collection which consists of many, many plays that my brother and friends of ours made – including Flash the Wonder Donkey…don’t ask.
- Hunting for Haggis – I spent family holidays in Scotland in amongst the heather trying to capture a haggis.
- All white horses are unicorns, did you know? If you’re really good and look closely enough, you might just be able to see their horn. So Dad said.
- Home cooked food, reading the Beano in bed with mum and dad, long walks, bike rides and everything else that’s important when you are 3ft tall.
The best things in life are free, I should have known that.